Posts Tagged ‘train’

The Lady Vanishes: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas (1938 Movie)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

chines painting supplies DVD:

The Lady Vanishes is a 1938 British thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and adapted by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder from the 1936 novel The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White. It stars Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas and Dame May Whitty, and features Cecil Parker, Linden Travers, Naunton Wayne, Basil Radford, Mary Clare, Googie Withers, Catherine Lacey and Sally Stewart.

The Lady Vanishes is Hitchcock’s penultimate film made in the UK before his move to Hollywood–1939′s Jamaica Inn followed it. It was the great success of The Lady Vanishes, after a slump of three films that were not hits, that made it possible for Hitchcock to negotiate a very good deal to work in the States. A remake, also entitled The Lady Vanishes, was made in 1979.

In Bandrika, a fictional country in an “uncivilised” region of immediately pre-World War II Central Europe, a motley group of travellers eager to return to England is delayed by an avalanche that has blocked the railway tracks. At night, a folk singer plays a tune al fresco that catches the attention of Miss Froy (May Whitty), an elderly lady who has worked some years abroad as a governess. The folk singer is suddenly silenced–apparently murdered.

Among the train’s passengers are Gilbert (Michael Redgrave), a young musicologist who has been studying the folk songs of the region, Iris (Margaret Lockwood), a young woman of independent means who has spent a holiday with some friends, but is now returning home to get married, and Miss Froy.

When the train resumes its journey, Iris and Miss Froy become acquainted, while the remaining passengers in the compartment appear not to understand a word of English. Iris lapses into unconsciousness, the result of an earlier encounter with a falling flowerpot meant for Miss Froy. When Iris reawakens, the governess has vanished, and she is shocked to learn that the other passengers claim Miss Froy never existed. The other English travelers deny ever seeing her, for their own reasons.

Fellow passenger Doctor Egon Hartz (Paul Lukas) convinces everyone that Iris must have hallucinated the scene with the old lady because of the blow to her head. Undaunted, Iris starts to investigate, joined only by a skeptical Gilbert, with whom she eventually falls in love. They discover that Miss Froy is being held prisoner in a sealed-off compartment supposedly occupied by a seriously ill patient being transported to an operation. They manage to free her, but the train is diverted to a side track, where a shootout ensues. Miss Froy intimates to Gilbert and Iris that she is in fact a British spy assigned to deliver some vital information (the famous Hitchcock MacGuffin) to the Foreign Office in London; after entrusting her message, encoded in a folk song—sung earlier by a balladeer, who is strangled in the first violence of the film — to Gilbert, she flees under cover of the shootout.

After managing to restart the train and escape, Gilbert and Iris return to London. At the Foreign Office, Gilbert, driven to joyful distraction when Iris accepts his marriage proposal, forgets the tune. Just as it appears the message has been lost, the coded folk song is heard in the background. Fortunately, Miss Froy had been able to escape, and is revealed playing the song on a piano.


Margaret Lockwood as Iris Henderson
Michael Redgrave as Gilbert
Paul Lukas as Dr Hartz
May Whitty as Miss Froy
Cecil Parker as Mr Todhunter
Linden Travers as Mrs Todhunter
Naunton Wayne as Caldicott
Basil Radford as Charters
Mary Clare as Baroness
Emile Boreo as Hotel Manager
Googie Withers as Blanche
Sally Stewart as Julie
Philip Leaver as Signor Doppo
Selma Vaz Dias as Signora Doppo
Catherine Lacey as The Nun
Josephine Wilson as Madame Kummer
Charles Oliver as The Officer
Kathleen Tremaine as Anna

Duration : 1:35:13


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,